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Serbia: Christopher Urges Milosevic To Accept Election Results

Washington, 6 January 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher on Friday sent a message to Slobodan Milosevic urging the Serbian president to accept the November 17 municipal election results.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said it was "a very tough message" that puts into question "the inclination of the Serbian government to play fair" on the election question.

Burns said the Serbian government's response to the OSCE on its investigation into the election acknowledges some of the opposition victories, but "does not go nearly far enough." He added that it contains "defensive and legalistic justifications" for the annulment of the elections and "hollow assurances...of Serbia's commitment to democracy."

Burns declined to release the text of the letter, but said it warns of "consequences of increased isolation" should Milosevic fail to take actions to correct "the anti-democratic actions of his government over the past month."

Burns noted that Christopher "took great care" in writing the message. He said Christopher "has now concluded that events are moving in the wrong direction in Serbia, in an anti-democratic direction."